Photographs and Visual Materials (THC)
USF Special Collections maintains a number of archival, manuscript and photographic collections that document Tampa’s rich history. The digitized photograph collections represent a selection of these materials, which explore the history of Tampa and Hillsborough County.
- Burgert Brothers was Tampa’s leading commercial photographic firm from 1918 to the early 1960s. Established by brothers Al and Jean, the studio focused primarily on photographing the Tampa Bay area, including Ybor City, Port Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Ballast Point. The Burgert Brothers' photographs captured Tampa's development from small town to major city and include images of daily activities, festivals, churches, homes, businesses, and streets. Special Collections holds 859 prints from Burgert Brothers negatives, all of which have been digitized and are available online. Click here for more information about the collection of prints and additional resources. Copyright statement - click here. This digital collection was made possible by a generous gift from the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation in 1996. Burgert Brothers Collection of Tampa Photographs
- The cigar industry's pivotal role in the development of early Tampa makes collecting, preserving, and researching cigar and cigar box realia and ephemera an important focal point for Special & Digital Collections. The Department's near-complete run of the Tobacco Leaf industry journal and its collection of lithographic cigar box labels represent an important aspect of American and Florida culture. Tampa Cigar Industry and Art Collection
- This is a collection of Spanish-American War era photographs taken by the Ensminger Brothers who were commercial photographers in the late 1800s. The photographs were later purchased by two British women, Sarah Criggal and her sister, who were visiting Florida from the Isle of White, England. Ensminger Brothers Spanish-American War Photographs
- The Robertson and Fresh commercial photographic firm was active in Tampa from 1932 to 1960. William Vernon "Red" Robertson worked in the field taking photographs while Harry Fresh processed and printed the images. Robertson and Fresh produced thousands of pictures that provide an invaluable visual record of the Tampa area from the Depression to the prosperous post-World War II era. The bulk of USF's Robertson and Fresh collection came from a large collection of negatives acquired by the late Hampton Dunn for use in his Tampa: A Pictorial History; he later donated the collection to USF's Tampa Library. When Dunn donated the negatives to the library they were still in the large, multi-drawer metal cabinet that Robertson and Fresh had used to store them. Unfortunately, due to acetic acid decomposition accelerated by years of storage in conditions of high heat and humidity, many of the original negatives had disintegrated beyond recovery... Robertson and Fresh Collection of Tampa Photographs
- Dr. Sape A. Zylstra has constructed within this collection a glimpse of the first century of Tampa's rich architectural history. From the earliest schoolhouse built by General Jesse Carter for his daughter to a Post-Modern home constructed by notable Tampa architect Eduardo Garcia, we get a peek at the fertile divergence of cultures drawn to Tampa. Sape A. Zylstra Collection of Tampa Architectural Slides